About Robyn Roste

The short story is I'm a professional writer living and working in Abbotsford, BC Canada.

Networking Tips for Introverted Writers

Are you an introvert? Are you a writer? Do you know you need social skills in order to grow your business? Me too. Here are some of my favourite networking tips for introverted writers.

networking tips for introverted writers

In November 2017, Jon Acuff stirred the introvert pot when he Tweeted “Is an introvert really an introvert if they won’t stop telling you they’re an introvert?” It was a weird thing to say but I guess he was trying to be funny about it. If you’re an introvert you understand this is a basic misunderstanding of what an introvert is.

Part of the problem is there’s a dictionary definition for introverts saying they’re shy. But it’s not that.

Introverts have these basic tendencies.

  • They enjoy alone time
  • They think best when they’re alone
  • They wait to be asked for their opinion
  • They start shutting down after too much time out
  • They are often called “too intense”
  • They find small talk cumbersome
  • Being in front of a crowd is less daunting than mingling with those people afterwards
  • They feel like phoneys when they network

The last three points are the ones I’m interested in today. How on earth do you network in a way that’s true to you when you hate small talk, making small talk with acquaintances is your worst nightmare, and you feel like a huge fake when you drag yourself out and do networking events?

Here are a few strategies I’ve implemented for not just surviving networking events but coming out of them with new relationships, clients, and boosted business skills.

Networking tips for introverted writers

Set mini goals

Networking events are overwhelming but I’ve learned to manage my stress and anxiety by setting mini goals to help me feel like I had a successful outing. Here are a few I’ve used in the past.

  • Introduce myself to one new person
  • Collect three business cards
  • Explain what I do to one person using my elevator pitch

I love mini goals because the MOMENT I achieve it all the pressure is off and I can go back to being a wallflower. Because I did what I came there to do.

Be a helper

I love learning and I love attending conferences. However, the networking and being around people part is tricky. Here’s how I turn things around: I volunteer. It gives me a purpose. When I have a purpose then speaking to people I don’t know is EASY. In fact, it’s fun.

Prepare ahead of time

Sometimes there are people-intensive things you just have to do. The best way I’ve learned to succeed in these times is to be over prepared. I research my location, the people I’ll be meeting with, the places I can retreat if I need some space. By being prepared I don’t have to worry about what to expect…I already know.

Bring a friend

This sometimes feels like a cop out but if you have an extroverted friend who loves networking events…why not ask him/her to be your plus one? You can’t use this as an excuse to stick to your friend all night but you can allow them to take the lead and help you network at your event. I’ve found this useful, especially when I’m attending media events.

Work out your anecdotes ahead of time

OK, this may feel silly and don’t go so far as writing them out on index cards unless you have to. But what if you prepared in advance for small talk? Think of opening lines, a few projects you’re working on, and some questions you can ask people you meet. When you have it worked out ahead of time you won’t stress when you’re in the moment, panicking because you know you need to say something but you have no idea what would be appropriate.

Plan an exit strategy

This can be a strategy to get out of a conversation or a strategy to get out of the event altogether. Think through what you’ll say or do so you don’t come off as rude or abrupt. “Powdering your nose” is one of those strategies, by the way, although I’ve never been brave enough to use it.

Remember, no one cares about you

Yeah, maybe that’s not very nice but it’s true! Everyone else at your networking event is just as wrapped up in him/herself as you are. Let this truth SET YOU FREE and relax.

Many introverts are drawn to writing as it's (in it's purest form) an isolated career path. Along the path of my freelance writing journey I've learned a few strategies for networking and doing the people stuff even when it's not a natural skill for me. Maybe one of these will work for you.

Many introverts are drawn to writing as it’s—in it’s purest form—an isolated career path. Also introverts find self-expression easier with a pen than their vocal chords.

However, when you’re a freelance writer there’s all this…people stuff. So much people stuff. And it’s important if you want to do anything with your career like grow it. Or get clients. Along the path of my freelance writing journey these are some of the strategies I’ve created for networking and doing the people stuff even when it’s not a natural skill for me. Maybe one of these will work for you.

Do you have any networking tips for introverted writers? I know this can’t be the only ideas out there and I’m always looking for new ways to get better at this skill.

What Kind of Blogger are You? Take the Quiz

What kind of blogger are you? Come on, I know you want to know! Take the quiz!

what kind of blogger are you take the quiz

Quizzes. I’ve thought about them a lot lately. I’ve even mused on them (on Enneagram in particular) wondering why we’re so obsessed with discovering who we are deep down.

But I also think about the not-so-serious quizzes a lot. Like what is the best breed of dog for my lifestyle (Corgi), what kind of ice cream is my personality most like (strawberry), and what Hogwart’s house am I sorted into (Ravenclaw)?

I even bring the results up in conversations. I know, I can hardly believe it myself.

In researching why we love these personality tests so much I realized this isn’t a new obsession for me—I just forgot about it after I stopped subscribing to Seventeen Magazine and Cosmo.

A quick summary

We love quizzes because they help us understand ourselves and link us to a tribe, which helps us feel understood. And talking about our quiz results is a humblish way of talking about ourselves without coming off braggy.

Yeah, my quiz said I’m 100% Minnesotan Lutheran so I guess I’m pretty solid there.

So I want to get into building quizzes. This one, what kind of blogger are you, is my first try.

What kind of blogger are you?

I’m using a platform called Interact and so far I’ve found it straightforward and fun. And, thank goodness, there are a billion templates for me to launch from so I don’t sit there staring at the screen, wondering what to write a quiz about.

Because coming up with ideas was the hardest part.

Now that I’ve built one (well, three, but I’m only showing you one today) I am starting to understand a bit about what needs to happen behind the scenes and how you come up with the topics. So hopefully I’ll get a bit better at it and start producing VIRAL HITS helping people gain profound internal insight while having fun at the same time.

Yes, that’s the dream.

OK but to swing this around a bit, quizzes are a fantastic marketing tool. They’re marketing without feeling like marketing. So if you’re wondering what on earth you can do to generate traffic or build your email list (because you can’t even think about creating an opt-in ebook or printable or whatever)…maybe give this a try. Come up with a few topics that suit your brand and see what you come up with.

A few things to keep in mind

  • When choosing a topic for your quiz, think about what your audience would respond to and write it for them
  • Make sure your title is awesome—build curiosity into it like how much do you actually know about __________ or which ________ are you?
  • Don’t go too deep with your questions; they can be personal but make sure they are ones you’d ask in casual conversation
  • Keep your tone positive and truthful

Quizzes. I've thought about them a lot lately. I've even mused on them (on Enneagram in particular) wondering why we're so obsessed with discovering who we are deep down. But I also think about the not-so-serious quizzes a lot. Like what is the best breed of dog for my lifestyle (Corgi), what kind of ice cream is my personality most like (strawberry), and what Hogwart's house am I sorted into (Ravenclaw)? And now I want to know, what kind of blogger are you?

So? What do you think about quizzes? Are you intrigued by them? Love learning more about yourself? Want to incorporate them into your marketing plan? I’d love to chat about it!

And if you want to try Interact here’s my affiliate link. Have fun!

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Get More Clients Fast With These 7 Ideas

What do you do when you need clients NOW? How do you get more clients fast? These are the ultimate questions and when you’re in this position, you don’t have time to try things that “might” work. You need it to work. Now. Get more clients fast with these seven ideas. I can’t guarantee they’ll work, but they’ve worked for me so at least it’s a starting point.

get more clients fast

Let’s dive right in: ideas to get more clients fast

  1. Reach out to your long-lost clients
  2. This tip only works if you’ve had clients before, but assuming you have this is an excellent place to start. If you haven’t worked with a client for a couple months you can classify them as “cold” and they qualify for this tactic. Go through your cold clients and send them an email asking how their project/magazine/website/etc. is going and if there’s anything you can help them with.

    If you had positive experiences with clients in the past and they didn’t call you back for more, it may not be because they don’t like you or don’t have work. Sometimes they’re too busy to reach out…sometimes they don’t think of you…sometimes they have a project but haven’t got to letting you know about it yet.

    Do it!!!

  3. Ask for referrals
  4. Do it! Yeah it’s awkward, get over it and ask your current clients if they have any colleagues who could use your services. Tell them you’re looking to add a few more clients to your roster. Either they’ll tell you they don’t know anyone, they’ll give you a couple leads, or they’ll give you more work themselves. THIS WORKS!

  5. Tell your network you’re open for business
  6. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best way to let people know you’re available is by saying you’re available. Mine your friends and family list for referrals. Remember, you NEED clients NOW. You’re in a spot. Lay it out in an interesting, polite way so it’s easy for them to think of you when they hear about someone looking for a writer.

  7. Run an ad
  8. I have a friend who does this and swears by it. Whenever she’s looking for a couple more clients she runs a Facebook ad for a week or two to a super-duper targeted audience and gets her money back tenfold. You have to know what you’re doing, and target the right audience, but this can and does work.

  9. Apply to job board postings
  10. Yes there are horror stories from job boards. Yes I would say you don’t get the strongest clients from job boards. However, you’re in a situation where you need clients now and job boards are filled with businesses looking for people just like you. You’ll have to look hard and put out a lot of inquiries but you’ll find clients.

    Here are a few suggestions for job boards I’ve found good.

  11. Do a Twitter search
  12. This is going to blow your mind.

    Using a Twitter search you’ll find real-time tweets from businesses looking for writers. Here are a few searches you can try.

    • #writerwanted
    • #ghostwriter
    • #hiring #writer

    I’ve connected with quite a few awesome clients through Twitter so I’m a fan of this one to say the least!

  13. Write guest posts
  14. I should qualify this with write paid guest posts. Writing free ones is a good long-term strategy but doesn’t work when you need clients now. Different goals.

    There are lots of websites and blogs that pay for content although there’s no set rate. But if you need cashflow…this is one way to get ‘er done. You’ll have to do the pitching so get ready to hustle.

So? Did you get some great new ideas to get clients fast?

These are emergency strategies for when you’re in panic mode and need clients quick. Even people with the best referral programs and ongoing marketing strategies run into this from time-to-time (but…not as much).

>What do you do when you need clients NOW? How do you get more clients fast? These are the ultimate questions and when you're in this position, you don't have time to try things that "might" work. You need it to work. Now. Get more clients fast with these seven ideas. I can't guarantee they'll work, but they've worked for me so at least it's a starting point.

While these are all effective I’ll encourage you not to rely on them strategies as your entire freelance approach—you will burn out! Too much hustle is unsustainable. Plus you’ll be hustling so much you may not find time to do the work!


Oh, and here’s something fun I’ve been working on. What kind of blogger are you…the ULTIMATE question! (This is just for fun.)

The Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery Series

The Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery Series. Because who isn’t ready for a fun, feminist romp through Victorian London and fresh new riff on classic Holmesian lore? I KNOW I AM!

The Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery Series

Before we get into the review of Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James, did you know Holmesian lore was a thing?

I looked it up and “Holmesian lore” is circa 1903 (!?!) for fans of Sherlock Holmes, which also includes fanlore, fanzine, and Holmesian Federation. However, since 2010 it’s more common in North America to call yourself a “Sherlockian.”

So.

I was going to say I’ve always loved Sherlock Holmes stories and consume basically anything Sherlock Holmes-related except I’ve never heard of a Holmesian or Sherlockian and I’m not sure I’m comfortable calling myself one. So I think I will step back a smidge, say I enjoy Sherlock Holmes stories, and leave it at that.

These are fun stories. Focusing more on the new heroine, Lucy James, you get to experience the world of Sherlock Holmes through the eyes of a young American actress who seems to run into trouble wherever she goes. Staying true to what we love about Sherlock Holmes adventures you’ll experience wacky capers and dangerous escapades while racing the clock to figure out who did it, why they did it, and how Lucy got wrapped up in it again!

Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James

If you love Sherlock Holmes I know you'll enjoy this series by father-daughter team Charles Veley and Anna Elliott.

Ready to read The Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery Series for yourself?

Get your free copy of the novella The Crown Jewel Mystery, the prequel to The Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery series.

Other books in the series:

  • Remember, Remember
  • The Jubilee Problem
  • Death at the Diogenes Club
  • The Return of the Ripper (coming soon)

The Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery Series synopsis

Since Sherlock Holmes first appeared in print in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1887 novel A Study in Scarlet, the fictional detective has gone on to become one of the most beloved and iconic pop culture characters of all time, spawning thousands of stage and radio plays, television shows, films, and books.

Now, father-daughter author duo Charles Veley and Anna Elliott have introduced the world to a fresh yet faithful reimagining of Holmes with The Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery Series—praised by Publishers Weekly as a “winning” addition to the Holmesian canon that “readers will look forward to further adventures [in].”

Introducing readers to Lucy James—an independent, modern-minded young woman who inherited her father’s intelligence and detective skills – and a Sherlock who must contend with the mysteries and challenges of being a parent, the 2017 releases in The Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery Series—available in a special boxset edition as of ‘Cyber Monday’ (November 27, 2017)!—include Remember, Remember, The Crown Jewel Mystery, The Jubilee Problem, and Death at the Diogenes Club.

Preceded by The Last Moriarty (2015) and The Wilhelm Conspiracy (2016)—books #1 and #2 in the series, penned by Charles Veley—the Ellliott-Veley collaboration on the Sherlock & Lucy series has been praised by critics as “a new way to enjoy Sherlockian mysteries” (The Santa Barbara Independent) and “a very delightful way to spend an afternoon” (History From A Woman’s Perspective).

The Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery Series by Charles Veley and Anna Elliott to date includes The Last Moriarty (2015) and The Wilhelm Conspiracy (2016), and the 2017 releases Remember, Remember, The Crown Jewel Mystery, The Jubilee Problem, and Death at the Diogenes Club. As of November 27th, all of the 2017 releases in the Sherlock & Lucy series will be available in a special box set edition (ebook & audiobook formats only) via Amazon. All titles are available for purchase in paperback, e-book, and audiobook formats via Amazon and Audible.

The Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery Series. Because who isn't ready for a fun, feminist romp through Victorian London and fresh new riff on classic Holmesian lore? I KNOW I AM! This series is super fun. If you love Sherlock Holmes I know you'll enjoy this series by father-daughter team Charles Veley and Anna Elliott.

Other reviews

Tips for Spreading the Love on Social Media

Spreading the love on social media. We could all use more love, couldn’t we?

This year, I’m resolving to do less of the mindless scroll and more adding goodness to the social landscape. Care to join me? Here are eight ideas for spreading the love on social media. They’re not invasive, they’re not difficult, and they’re not rocket science. But sometimes they’re tough to remember.

spread the love on social media

If we let it, social media can make us feel horrible. We all know it but still allow people’s picture-perfect feeds to get us down. It’s why we’re so focused (borderline obsessed?) on authenticity and honesty—we understand what we see on social media feeds isn’t reality, but it’s difficult to stop comparing.

I wrote about four ways to overcome social media comparison over on Faith Strong Today if you’re interested in changing your self-talk but need a bit of a push.

8 Tips for Spreading the Love on Social Media

  1. Be generous with your likes
  2. This is something I’m trying to do more of. What does it cost me to “like” someone’s status or post? Not much. But what can it add to someone else’s day? Maybe a lot. I don’t go through and “like” everything I see, but if something makes me pause, think, or smile, I make sure to (at least) like it.

  3. Leave kind, genuine comments
  4. One of the communities I’m in started practising this and I realized how encouraging it is to receive comments on social media posts. So much more than I thought. Now that I’m aware I make sure to leave comments as often as I can, and as nice as I can.

  5. Tell someone something nice
  6. This launches from my last point. Doesn’t it feel good when someone notices something you’re working hard on and compliments you? Or tells you you’re doing a great job? I have decided to be more intentional about doing this for others. When I notice something awesome, mention it. And now that I’m trying to notice what others are doing I’m seeing a lot more to mention! I love how it helps me keep my eyes on others rather than on myself.

  7. Try to make someone laugh
  8. Yes I do mean post hilarious memes, GIFs, and videos. Why not? Maybe even post an epic Throwback Thursday photo and make someone smile. Who says we need to be serious all the time? Life is serious enough.

  9. Post something beautiful
  10. Along the lines of posting something fun, what about posting something beautiful? An amazing landscape, a cute animal, or a stunning piece of art…think about what would bring joy or awe to someone else’s day and add it to your feed.

  11. Post something encouraging
  12. In my new and improved approach to social media I’ve started asking what would be helpful and uplifting to the people who I’m connected with on social media. When I approach my posting strategy from this viewpoint I find I have a lot to say—and I find in trying to be encouraging it’s filling me up as well. How cool!

  13. Highlight someone you look up to
  14. If someone is doing a great job why not give them a shout out? A friend of mine is doing this on her Instagram feed and I’m finding it so awesome. If someone has helped you out in you life or career why WOULDN’T you honour them in this way? Love this so much.

  15. Follow people who inspire you
  16. One of the best ways I’ve found to stay positive on social media is by following people with the same agenda—following those already spreading the love on social media and inspiring me to do the same. Why not fill your feed with the change you want to see?

Spreading the love on social media. We could all use more love, couldn't we? This year, I'm resolving to do less of the mindless scroll and more of the adding goodness to the social landscape. Care to join me? Here are eight ideas for spreading the love on social media. They're not invasive, they're not difficult, and they're not rocket science. But sometimes they're tough to remember.

These are my top tips for spreading the love on social media but I’ve love to hear your ideas. Let me know in the comments…or on social media.

Want more about social media?